Hindu Vivek Kendra
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Rein in 'rogue' ISI to tackle terror: US

Rein in 'rogue' ISI to tackle terror: US

Author: Agencies
Publication: The Times of India
Date: August 4, 2008

Washington Losing Faith with Pakistan Government's Ability To Stop Expansion Of Qaida In The Region

In a virtual indictment of ISI's involvement in the bombing of Indian embassy in Kabul, the US on Sunday asked Pakistan to get its intelligence network to work towards tackling terrorism that is affecting its neighbourhood.

"Pakistan needs to get everybody lined up in the same direction if they are really going to tackle the terrorist problem," US assistant secretary of state Richard Boucher, who is here as an observer at the SAARC summit, told reporters.

His statement came after US officials vindicated Indian claim of Pakistan's ISI's role in the suicide bombing on the Indian Embassy in Kabul last month.

Boucher, who met Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the SAARC summit, welcomed his assurance to India to probe the Kabul attack.

"Our view is that it is important to have a good intelligence service in Pakistan, but it is also important for that intelligence service to work single-mindedly with other institutions to tackle the terrorist issue that affects so many people in Pakistan and its neighbourhood," he said.

Meanwhile, Newsweek reported on Sunday that Washington was "losing faith" that Pakistan's new government could stop the expansion of Al Qaida-linked terrorism in that country's tribal regions.

Quoting an unidentified US official, the magazine reported that a "rookie move" by Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chief Asif Ali Zardari to wrest control of the powerful ISI has backfired, resulting in Washington loosing faith in Islamabad's ability to fight terror.

In a manoeuvre attributed to Zardari, Newsweek said, the government tried to wrest control of ISI by placing it under the control of Rehman Malik, a Zardari associate who is de facto interior minister.

That was a "rookie move" that backfired, the magazine said quoting the official. The move happened just as prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani left for Washington to meet President Bush. Before making its move against the ISI, US and Pakistani officials were quoted as saying, the government failed to consult with some top military brass, including President Musharraf.

The report quoted another senior Pakistani government official as blaming the fumble on Malik, saying he "misworded" the announcement to make it seem as if the interior ministry was taking over the entire ISI, when in fact it is only seeking control of "domestic operations."

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